Zodiac | Romina Russell
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Released: December 9, 2014 | Razorbill
Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.
When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.
Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.
But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?
Remember when we were kids . . . back when we were first introduced to the now legendary Harry Potter? (My ex-husband)
Do you remember the excitement we felt as we read those books? The thrill of being sucked into the world of Hogwarts . . . the wonder of exploring this very institution, and discovering all it's secrets? What about the fear of coming face to face with, " He Who Shall Not Be Named? " I can pull these memories from my mind as if they happened just yesterday, but I haven't experienced these emotions in quite some time. The delight of feeling as if I was in the story . . . like I was one of the wizards. Or the anticipation of what was going to happen next. Not too many books I've read last year, moved me in such a way . . .
until I read Zodiac by Romina Russell.
Bow Down Bitches.
Romina Russell comes into the game kicking down all doors. Her strong debut novel wasn't anything like I've read before. I felt like a kid again, eyes wide and full of wonder, as we traveled through the galaxy with her eclectic group of characters. She's an amazing story-teller, with the ability to engage her readers in this book full of imagination, that will have you on the edge of your seat until your fictional ship has finally landed.
a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness . . .
I'm not sure if it's because I haven't read too many science fiction novels set in space, (or too many science fiction novels in general for that matter) but Zodiac was truly a " mouth-open " experience for me. From the very first chapter, I knew I was going to love our main character Rhoma Grace. Rho was intelligent, witty, strong-minded and willed, just so sure of herself at the age of sixteen. I've read plenty of books with characters in her age group, and in my opinion, she out-shined them all with little to no effort.
Given more power than you know what to do with, how do you handle the responsibility of leading an entire galaxy, when no-one will believe that something sinister and incredibly powerful has returned to destroy it?
Even when she was looked down upon, and had her theories dismissed with simple flicks of the wrist and eye-rolls, Rho rose to the occasion with such determination. There were times she doubted herself, I mean she was young girl with a little too much on her plate, but again she stuck to her guns, and fought hard to gain the respect from the peers around her. Russell made sure to give her characters weaknesses ontop of their strengths, giving them such a realistic dimension. I found Rho to be very true to her Cancerian traits.
Boys I do adoreee.
A good story wouldn't be good without a hefty dose of testosterone, now would it?
Meet Mathias Thais:
Another resident of House Cancer, Mathias proved to be a strong character. He had a serious tone to him, rarely smiling and always focused. He was chosen as Rhoma's " Guide, " to train and mentor her along her journey as the guardian of the fourth house (Cancer). One of my favorite things about Mathias was that he was so protective of Rho. He reminded me so much of my Taurus bf. They're both laid back and chill, but when pushed or forced to defend themselves and others, they attack full force! Early on I felt that he had a slight crush on Rho, but Mathias being Mathias, he kept things very friendly, and almost businesslike, until . . .
Meet Hysan Dax:
A mysterious boy from House Libra. From the moment Hysan entered the story I was both smitten, and taken aback by his character. He commanded your attention with his witty banter and handsome boyish expressions, that I couldn't help but to forget about Mathias. With all the death and destruction happening around them, Hysan always managed to have such a bright air to him. Reading about him was like witnessing that first slither of sunshine, peaking through the dark sky in the early morning. Reminding me of myself, Hysan was extremely clever, with a love for technology and inventing things. He put the romance in this book for me, and it wasn't long before I was smiling like an idiot whenever his dialogue would appear.
You can probably guess which team I'm on.
House Leo July 23rd - August 22nd
I'm a proud Leo who is also a huge lover of Astrology. I'm intrigued by Zodiac signs, their meanings, and how true they always seem to be. I'm such a fan, that I base my relationships on whether I'm compatible with my potential companion. (Yes I looked up the compatibility between a Leo and Taurus. Don't judge me!) However, I am now an even bigger fan of how Romina managed to kneed and roll a simple concept, to formulate a recipe for greatness.
With a teaspoon of fact and a couple tablespoons of fiction, I was on a imaginary high as I indulged in this story. The amount of " info-dumping " didn't quite bother me as it did others, especially since it was so well-written. Zodiac is an amazing tale of bravery, selflessness, and unity, making it an appropriate read for all ages. So if you're looking for a book that's:
1. Action packed.
2. Well though out, with fun - imaginative writing, steady pacing, and unpredictable plot twists.
3. World building that's so well crafted, that you'll have vivid illusions of the characters, scenery, etc.
then I definitely encourage you to pick this up. Now actually.